Bluetooth and NFC: Connected with NFC interactor 7

Connect your Bluetooth accessories with a simple tap: one of the most convenient use cases of NFC. But what if your Bluetooth gadget doesn’t integrate NFC? You can now create Bluetooth handover tags with the new NFC interactor 7!

The new release fully integrates support for parsing NFC tags in existing accessories like headsets, printers or loudspeakers. These can also be cloned, edited or created from scratch – either using the low level editor, or the convenient Bluetooth Wizard.

NFC interactor 7Bluetooth Standard

The relevant specification documents that are relevant for the new app version total 2,753 pages (Bluetooth 4.1 Core Specifation, NFC Forum Connection Handover 1.3). The multitude of scenarios and Bluetooth features require a huge amount of flexibility in the app to correctly represent all options in a user friendly way.

NFC interactor 7 is the world’s first app that allows advanced users to create standard-conforming Bluetooth NFC tags through an easy to use interface, while at the same time offering access to every single configuration detail possible. Thousands of combinations are possible, and it’s easy to save your NFC tag composition for later re-use.

To make the full world of Bluetooth more accessible, we have additionally integrated a Bluetooth Wizard. To create an NFC tag, simply select one of your previously paired Bluetooth devices – NFC interactor automatically retrieves the device address and name. Optionally, you can then choose the device class (loudspeaker, smartphone, etc) from relevant presets. That’s it, your Bluetooth Connection NFC-Tag is ready to use!

The full list of new NDEF record types you can use with NFC interactor 7:

  • Bluetooth Wizard
  • Bluetooth Secure Simple Pairing
  • Handover Select
  • Handover Alternative Carrier
  • Handover Error

Additional New Features

We have updated the record parsing display to make the tag reading analysis results easier to understand – especially important for complex records like for Bluetooth.

In addition, NFC interactor 7 supports 9 new Windows Phone 8.1 settings launch options – including the battery saver, proximity or the notifications & actions center settings.

Download

The new version of NFC interactor 7 is available immediately. If you have previously purchased the app, it is a free update – your phone will notify you automatically.

Download NFC interactor 7 for Windows Phone

NFC / NDEF Library – Ready for Action

The C# version of the NFC / NDEF library has just been updated to version 3.0.2. This release has received a lot of additional testing and a few more tweaks, making it fit for use in business-scale applications.

NFC / NDEF Library 3We have spent a large amount of time testing and validating the immensly complex new Bluetooth functionality that was introduced in the NFC / NDEF library version 3.0.

The good news: we did not find any issues in the code. The even better news: based on working with the code, we have identified a few tweaks that make the library even easier to use. These have now been implemented in the new version 3.0.2.

The new version of the library is available for download right away. In your existing or new C# projects, just let Visual Studio download the NuGet package.

Thanks again to netidee for supporting the library development!

netidee

HTML5 Loves NFC

The open source NFC / NDEF Library is now available also to JavaScript / HTML5 App developers!

HTML5 Loves NFC

With growing support and capabilities for HTML5 apps on all desktop and mobile platforms, we want to ensure the compatibility to avoid fragmented ecosystems. As a user, you want your NFC-based service to work, regardless of the manufacturer or developer.

To facilitate this, we have ported the NFC / NDEF library from C# to JavaScript, to ensure it can be used in an even wider field of app development.

NFC Development with JavaScript

Thanks to the funding by Netidee, we were able to get the help of Sebastian Höbarth, an expert developer with tremendous JavaScript knowledge. The ported JavaScript version includes the major use cases, to conveniently create and parse NDEF messages & records:

  • NdefMessage
  • NdefRecord
  • NdefUriRecord
  • NdefTextRecord
  • NdefTelRecord
  • NdefSocialRecord
  • NdefGeoRecord
  • NdefAndroidAppRecord (AAR)

The source code of the library is available via GitHub.

For the build system, we are using Node.JS in combination with Grunt – a step by step guide for the setup is included in the readme file, in case you need to modify the library and build it yourself.

Bluetooth and Windows Phone 8.1 / Universal App-Support in NFC / NDEF Library 3.0

Over the past few months, the NFC library has seen tremendous progress. Now, the next major release is here: the new 3.0.1 version is now available for download and adds Blueooth, Connection Handover and Windows Phone 8.1 / Universal Apps support!

NFC Library 3 with Bluetooth support

Especially Bluetooth support has been on the wish-list of many users for a long time. It was a challenge to implement, and comparing the file size of the code reveals that the additions are nearly as large as the code of all previously available classes combined! The new version now supports several additions, based on the latest standards:

  • Bluetooth Secure Simple Pairing: based on the “Bluetooth Secure Simple Pairing Using NFC” Application Document of the NFC Forum, as well as the latest Bluetooth Core 4.1 specification by the Bluetooth SIG. NDEF records created based on this class are sufficient to do a connection handover: tap an NFC tag and connect to any Bluetooth device! The record can provide a multitude of information to the reading device, such as the service class, major and minor device class, name of the device and much more.
  • Connection Handover: based on the according technical specification version 1.3 by the NFC Forum. In most loudspeakers, the Handover Select record is the first on the NFC tag. In its payload, the record defines that a connection handover to Bluetooth is possible, which is further specified by the Alternative Carrier record contained within. The new classes to enable this use case include:
    • Handover Select
    • Handover Alternative Carrier
    • Handover Error

In addition, the library package definition has been updated to include full support for Windows Phone 8.1 and Universal apps, so that you can continue using the library directly from the NuGet package and without having to download the source code.

You can get the source code plus the demo app from the library homepage on Codeplex. Alternatively, you can directly integrate the library into your project through NuGet – make sure you enable the setting “Include Prerelease” to install the latest version 3.0!

The development of the NFC / NDEF library is supported by Netidee

netidee

 

NFC / NDEF Open Source Library – Major Update to 2.0

The latest update to the open source NFC / NDEF library brings a wealth of new features, further extending the large amount of use cases where the library makes NFC app development easier.

Demo Apps of the NFC Library

After several alpha and beta releases, the latest stable release has just been pushed to the NuGet online package source for easy integration into your own C# projects. It includes the following changes from the previous stable version:

  • New supported NDEF record types:
    • Business card records (vCard): Windows 8 (depends on integrated vCard library) / Windows Phone 8 (no 3rd party dependencies)
    • iCalendar records: Windows 8 (alpha version, depends on 3rd party DDay.iCal library)
    • MIME / Image records: Windows 8
  • New: Windows 8.1 Demo app
  • New: TagGenerator utility app (console-based) to create files containing NDEF messages
  • Changed structure: core NDEF library + platform-specific extension library to enable real-life use cases (e.g., converting a WinRT Contact to a vCard record)
  • Added: HERE Maps navigation schemes for Geo records
  • Added: Power and screen rotation for WP Settings records

In addition, a few minor issues have been fixed and the source code documentation has been improved.

New Library Structure

The top-most priority for the NDEF library is to add value to real-life use cases. This is why we have split the library into two distinct parts:

  • Core NDEF Library: remains a portable class library that can be used in any C# / .net application and contains all of the record classes including base classes for the platform-specific extension records
  • Platform-Specific Extension Library: integrates with classes of the respective host platform to directly integrate with associated features. This allows for example to take a Contact from the user’s address book and directly write that to an NFC tag. The image record class allows de/encoding images with common image formats, like JPEG or PNG – allowing developers to directly show an encoded image parsed from a tag on the app UI.

Along with the new structure, a Windows 8.1 demo app has been added to the library, so that you can test creating and parsing NDEF records also on Windows-based tablets and PCs.

More Information & Download

We will provide more information about many of the powerful new library features in upcoming blog posts.

You can update / download the NFC / NDEF library right away:

NFC / NDEF Library Expands to Embedded Devices

NDEF Library got another supporter with the uNFC library for the Windows embedded platform.

The uNFC library allows to use NFC integrated circuits connected to your PC (via serial) or to an embedded system based on Windows Embedded Compact or the .Net Micro Framework. The Library supports the NXP PN532 transceiver module for contactless communication – one of the most popular NFC chipsets and embedded in countless phones and devices.

It’s good to see that additional solutions and developments are accelerating thanks to our NFC library. We are excited to see additional services being created that utilize the library.

The Development of the NFC / NDEF library is supported by Netidee

NXP PN532 NFC Module

NFC interactor 6.2 – Large Live Tiles

As a small incremental update release, the latest version of NFC interactor 6.2 is now available for download in the Windows Phone Store!

The main new feature is that the live tile of the app now supports the large size, and it shows the message currently saved in the composer on the back side of the tile. In addition to small bug fixes, the new release also updates references from Nokia Music to Nokia MixRadio, as the service was recently renamed.

NFC interactor 6.2 - Large Live Tiles

Nokia Create Contest: NFC interactor Wins

The Nokia Create Contest included missions that challenged developers to improve their apps with specific features that are especially powerful on Windows Phone devices. We took the challenge and deeply integrated HERE maps into our latest big NFC interactor 6 update. There are 10 winning apps per category – and we’re happy to announce that Nokia selected NFC interactor as one of them!

You can enjoy full HERE maps integration with NFC interactor, including the following unique and new features:

  • Create geo tags by selecting a place from HERE maps – works with offline map data that you have downloaded for whole countries in your Windows Phone
  • Search for points of interest and addresses, including search-as-you-type
  • Show & use your current GPS position
  • Geocoding to find address info by tapping on the map
  • Launch HERE maps apps via specific schemes – including showing the place on the map, starting drive or walk navigation or finding public transport routes

Nokia Create Contest

NFC interactor 6.1: Maintenance Release

A small maintenance update of NFC interactor is now available in the Windows Phone 8 store. In addition to the screen orientation lock setting option that was added in the previous NFC interactor 6.0 release, the new version now adds the second new GDR 3+ system setting to go straight to the phone’s power options.

In addition, thanks to bug reports submitted users of the professional version, we were able to identify and fix a bug that caused a crash when the optional buttons in the record headers were activated for interaction within the composer.

As usual, the new version is available as a free update to all existing users and can be downloaded from the store right away.